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Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Old May 30th 2017, 7:43 am
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Default Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

We may be faced with a decision to move to Seattle in the next 2/3 weeks, unexpected change with my husbands job. It may only be for 2 years, however my daughter is due to begin GCSEs in Sept, so the timing is very hard.
There isn't a British school option so we need to see if there is an option which would enable her to transition back. Less concerned about our 12 year old as he is 2 years from GCSEs. Any advice welcome!
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Old May 30th 2017, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

My advice would be to not do it. Far too disruptive for your kids education for the sake of 2 years.
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Old May 30th 2017, 10:59 am
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Seattle is a great place to live. Washington is beautiful all over and if it wasn't for the children being at the stage in their education that they are I would advise you to definitely do it.
Is it something that can be postponed a few years until the children have finished school?
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Old May 30th 2017, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
My advice would be to not do it. Far too disruptive for your kids education for the sake of 2 years.
This is my usual advice under circumstances like these. IMO One move during the age 12-18 is one move too many, but to plan for two at ages 14 and then at 16 is more likely than not to create a train wreck because the US system isn't geared up to provide anything like GCSEs, so will leave your daughter without the basis for A Levels.
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Old May 30th 2017, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

If it is definitely only going to be a temporary move then I would seriously consider homeschooling your daughter. You could follow the curriculum for the GCSEs that she would be doing in the UK. There are so many online resources (including schools) available that it should be straightforward. Home schooling is fairly common over here so most locations have a very good network of home schoolers that get together for shared tuition, museum visits, music, sports, art etc. so along with stuff like Girl Scouts etc. she'd have plenty of opportunity to socialize (and so would you).

Link to a home school group in Seattle
Seattle Homeschool Group

Couple of online GCSE course providers that came up in a quick search. I'm sure there must be many others.
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/courses/gcse-and-igcse/
CloudLearn - Home Schooling
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Old May 30th 2017, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

I would be reluctant to move a 14 year old on a temporary basis, especially if she will return to the UK for sixth form. We did move our boys at 14 & 16 knowing that it was a one way move. If it had been a temporary move they would have continued with their UK schooling at Lancaster Royal Grammar which we had considered very seriously when there had been a possibility of a move to the far east.

Our elder son has returned to the UK for university which was made much easier by having GCSEs already under his belt, our younger son might do the same but he will have completed the full 4 years of US high school and has been concentrating on following AP courses to aid the possible return for college.

This isn't to say you can't do it, but I would think long and hard about the educational implications, particularly for the 14 year old.
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Old May 30th 2017, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

I also moved teens 14 and 16 yrs old to the USA. Personally, I would not do it for a 2 year stint unless they were going to an international school enabling them to keep up with their home country studies.

Saying that, it is possible but your 14 year old is going to have a fair amount of work to do. They will enter 9th grade - high school. Your issue here is ensuring that they enter the appropriate class level for their knowledge, our school did a mixture of testing to ascertain the level and a bit of putting them in the class to see how they did. You may have to push for higher level classes.

It's maybe not so common on this forum, but plenty of kids go back to the UK for "A" levels after being in the USA and elsewhere and they manage. You just need to be really aware that it's going to mean you keeping your eye on the ball and on your children. There will be gaps in knowledge coming here and then returning which will need to be identified and filled - it's a lot of work for your child.

And then there are the social challenges of coming and going.
Recommend you join this FB group - full of people with these issues and you'll get good advice there too. https://www.facebook.com/groups/IAmATriangle/
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Old May 30th 2017, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Originally Posted by Brighton1971 View Post
We may be faced with a decision to move to Seattle in the next 2/3 weeks, unexpected change with my husbands job.
You might not have thought of this yet, but you could send your husband off to Seattle on his own and you and the kids stay in the UK. I agree with the others... disrupting the children's education twice in as many years is not a good strategy.

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Old May 30th 2017, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

I'll play devil's advocate to the others here and say - what a great opportunity for your kids to spend 2 years in another country and widen their horizons! Canada is on the doorstep as well. It's also easier to visit other countries in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. What do the kids think about the prospect of doing this?

I'm not sure about the homeschooling option that was mentioned by another poster. Not all kids (or parents) are cut out for homeschooling. We were never interested in that option but we have several neighbors who have tried it with various degrees of success. I'd be tempted to let the kids spend a couple of years in the US school system so that they can meet more kids their own age on a more regular basis. The downside of this is that you could well be taking them away from their new friends 2 years later. Homeschooling does provide more flexibility though e.g. if you want to travel a bit during the regular school year.

This sounds like a great opportunity but much depends on the attitude, personality, strengths and weaknesses of all involved (kids and parents). There's no doubt that this could be very disruptive to their UK education but you could have them go back into the UK system a year below if necessary.
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Old May 30th 2017, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
I'll play devil's advocate to the others here and say - what a great opportunity for your kids to spend 2 years in another country and widen their horizons! Canada is on the doorstep as well. It's also easier to visit other countries in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. What do the kids think about the prospect of doing this?

I'm not sure about the homeschooling option that was mentioned by another poster. Not all kids (or parents) are cut out for homeschooling. We were never interested in that option but we have several neighbors who have tried it with various degrees of success. I'd be tempted to let the kids spend a couple of years in the US school system so that they can meet more kids their own age on a more regular basis. The downside of this is that you could well be taking them away from their new friends 2 years later. Homeschooling does provide more flexibility though e.g. if you want to travel a bit during the regular school year.

This sounds like a great opportunity but much depends on the attitude, personality, strengths and weaknesses of all involved (kids and parents). There's no doubt that this could be very disruptive to their UK education but you could have them go back into the UK system a year below if necessary.
+1. Sometimes life experiences are an education in themselves.
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Old May 30th 2017, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
+1. Sometimes life experiences are an education in themselves.
For sure this is true. And if the eldest child was younger then they could happily breeze around the world. However, in this day and age youngsters MUST pass exams to get into universities and any delays need to be explained and justified.

There is also the issue of how the kids will settle in to a different environment when they know it is only for 2 years - it's actually quite hard to find friends as a teenager and then when they return to the UK, then well, they're different.
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Old May 30th 2017, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Do the kids even need to come? Get the company to pay for a boarding school for a couple of years could be another option, if it's only a couple of years.
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Old May 31st 2017, 11:56 am
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

I spoke with my now 17 year old (he was 14 when we moved) and his view is that the differences in the two educational systems and the order and way in which subjects are taught would make transitioning back to the UK after 2 years very difficult. Better to stick with one system or the other at this stage.
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Old May 31st 2017, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Originally Posted by lizzyq View Post
I spoke with my now 17 year old (he was 14 when we moved) and his view is that the differences in the two educational systems and the order and way in which subjects are taught would make transitioning back to the UK after 2 years very difficult. Better to stick with one system or the other at this stage.
It is good to see a first person report on the matter.
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Old Jun 1st 2017, 7:12 am
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Default Re: Moving 14/12 year olds to US from UK

Thank you all for taking time to share opinions and ideas. Particularly the homeschool ideas (had no idea there were homeschool meet ups) and Lizzyq thanks to you and your son for sharing from your sons perspective x)

No option is ideal but our 14yr old is the most important consideration. I will let you all know what we decide... Seattle is seriously lacking in IB schools which doesn't help. First world problems....
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